Napoleon Dynamite’s grandma said it best when she declared, “Make yourself a dang quesadilla!” Because not only are these tasty tortilla treats easy to make, but they also contain cheese—which we consider one of the world’s great wonders. On top of that, they’re easy to adapt for any dietary preference branching in dozens of directions: basic cheese-only, loaded up with nutrient-rich veggies, packed with proteins, or even stuffed with sweets! But whatever route you take, these happy little half-moons are a pure delight.
Quesadillas can do triple duty as a healthy snack, post-workout meal, and something to satisfy those comfort food cravings. And these 22 quesadilla combos would make Grandma Dynamite proud. Not sure which to try first? Check out our handy quiz at the bottom of the article.
Note: Our favorite way to heat tortillas is over an open burner, simply flipping a few times until it’s warm. But you can also use a microwave or simply heat in a pan with the ingredients.
1. Lox of Cheese
Forget the bagel. Tortilla has this one covered with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and chives. Fresh and boasting brunch flavors and healthy fats galore, this meal will make you want to ditch bread forever—or at least till the last bite of quesadilla.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1/2 cup smoked salmon, 1/4 cup cream cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Instructions: Heat up the tortilla, spread on the cream cheese, add the salmon, and sprinkle with chopped chives. Fold, and eat.
- Tip: Cut the tortilla into pieces! It works great as an appetizer (and helps with portion control).
2. Seize the ‘Dilla
Sick of cereal? Think outside the breakfast box and have a quesadilla! Scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, and cheddar cheese make this a hearty meal that’ll keep you full for hours. Warning: It may result in a food coma. Post-breakfast siesta, anyone?
- Ingredients: 1 flour tortilla, 2 eggs, 1 sausage link (pork or chicken) cut up into 1-inch pieces, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- Instructions: To make this awesome ‘dilla, start by scrambling and cooking the two eggs to your liking. When close to cooked, toss in the sausage and cheese. Next, warm your tortilla over a burner (or in a microwave), and load it up with the eggs.
- Tip: Add veggies like spinach and onions for an extra dose of nutrients.
It’s the bacon, lettuce, and tomato quesadilla! Another name for it: BLTC. The C is for Cheese. Were you with us there? We recommend Fontina.
- Ingredients: 1 flour tortilla, 2-4 slices of bacon, 1 medium chopped tomato, 1/4 cup Fontina cheese
- Instructions: Cook the bacon (chef’s choice: microwave, skillet, oven), warm the tortilla in a skillet, and add the cheese. Once melted, add the bacon and tomato, folding the tortilla. Serve or heat longer for crispier crust.
- Tip: To cut back on fat, use turkey bacon.
4. Cuban Quesadilla
Simple and full of rich, Cuban flavor. Press together ham, honey mustard, pickles, Swiss cheese, and a cigar. Just kidding on the last one!
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 2 slices ham, 2 slices Swiss cheese, 2 tablespoons honey mustard, 4-6 pickle slices
- Instructions: Heat up the tortilla over a burner (or in a microwave) and spread on honey mustard. Add ham, cheese, and pickles. Fold and heat on each side for a couple minutes until the tortilla is brown and contents are heated through.
- Tip: To cut back on sugar, use whole-grain, spicy, or champagne mustard.
5. Philly ‘Dilla
It’s like the classic cheesesteak sandwich, but with less bread! And perhaps less guilt—depending on how gluten-ous you are. Simply build with grilled flank steak, green bell peppers, onions (we love ‘em caramelized), and Provolone, and get your grub on.
- Ingredients: 1 spinach tortilla, 1/2 cup cooked flank steak, 1/4 cup sliced green bell pepper, 1/4 cup sliced onions, 1/2 cup Provolone
- Instructions: In a skillet, sauté your green peppers and onions in olive oil. Once the peppers have cooked and onions have browned, add steak to skillet. Warm the tortilla, add the steak and veggie mixture and cheese, and fold over. Serve or continue to heat for a crispy tortilla crust.
- Tip: Substitute chicken for a Philly chicken cheesesteak ‘dilla. And stay away from the cheese-spray tradition.
6. Whatever Happened to Reuben Studdard
This one is a new twist on an old classic: The Reuben. It calls for corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and yellow mustard. Though it may not sound like the average quesadilla (do any of these?), it’s well worth the experiment.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1/4 cup corned beef, 1/4 cup sauerkraut, 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- Instructions: Heat up the corned beef and sauerkraut, add cheese, set aside. Warm up the tortilla and spread on yellow mustard. Add the meat, sauerkraut and cheese to the tortilla, and heat together.
- Tip: Substitute turkey slices for corned beef. (And never argue with Simon Cowell.)
It’s a veggie monster! Full of roasted mushrooms and onions, Swiss cheese, and scallions, this beast of a meal sounds tame, but it’s not. You can run, but you won’t want to hide from this beast.
- Ingredients: 1 spinach tortilla, 1/2 cup roasted mushrooms, 1/2 cup roasted onions, 1/4 cup Swiss cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- Instructions: Mix together the Swiss cheese with the roasted onions and mushrooms. Heat up the tortilla and add the veggies and cheese mix, and sprinkle the scallions on top. Fold the tortilla and heat about a minute longer on each side.
- Tip: Add Sriracha or another hot sauce to give your metabolism a boost.
8. Berenjena Parm
If you love eggplant Parmesan, this is the quesadilla for you. Because fried (or baked) eggplant, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan are always a delectable combo. It also tastes great with a few thin slices of cooked zucchini.
- Ingredients: 1 sundried-tomato tortilla, 1 cup chopped baked eggplant, 1/4 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2 tablespoons marinara sauce
- Instructions: Heat up the eggplant and mix with mozzarella and Parmesan. Then heat the tortilla, spread on the marinara sauce, add the eggplant and cheese mix, and fold.
- Tip: Add fresh herbs (like basil) to give it more flavor.
9. The Garden of Good and Cheesil
Here’s your go-to for Meatless Monday. Full of spinach, protein-packed hummus, snap peas, and feta, it’s hard to miss the meat. And hey, if you do, this recipe welcomes the addition of chicken breast. (But then you’ll miss the chance to hashtag your Instagram photo #MeatlessMonday).
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1 cup sautéed spinach, 1/2 cup snap peas, 1/2 cup feta, 2 tablespoons hummus
- Instructions: Sauté the spinach and snap peas, add the feta, and put aside. Heat the tortilla and spread on the hummus, add the vegetable and cheese mix to the tortilla, fold and heat a minute longer on each side.
- Tip: Go cheese-less! And#nofilter, please.
10. Texas Chilla-Wannabe-A
Sure, beef chili, sour cream, and lots of gooey cheese are a delectable combo. But why not keep all the flavors and eat a healthier option instead? Subbing turkey chili, Greek yogurt and just a little less cheese makes this chili-inspired ‘dilla a tailgater’s dream.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1/2 cup turkey chili, 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- Instructions: Heat the turkey chili and the tortilla separately. Combine the cheese and the chili, and add to the tortilla. Fold and press, grab extra napkins, and eat.
- Tip: Add jalapenos for a spicy kick. You can also substitute black beans for the chili.
This quesadilla calls for pulled pork, Monterey Jack cheese, and barbeque sauce. Kansas City, Memphis, Carolina… pick your favorite style, and get piggy with it. If you don’t want to make pulled pork from scratch, you can always find it at a local BBQ joint or grocers’ deli.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1/2 cup pulled pork, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack, 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- Instructions: If your pork isn’t warm and ready to serve, heat it up (over low heat in a sauté pan), and add the BBQ sauce and cheese. In another pan, warm the tortilla, add the meat, and fold in half.Let cook on each side for a couple minutes or until the tortilla is golden brown.
- Tip: For a heartier meal, use beef brisket. For a lighter version, try pulled chicken!
12. Soulful Southern ‘Dilla
Why isn’t it a “thing” to put fried chicken, pimento cheese, and bread and butter pickles in the middle of a tortilla? Well, great news for everyone: now it is! We’ll even let you take credit for this comfort food invention. After all, a #humblebrag never hurt anyone.
- Ingredients: 1 flour tortilla, 1/2 cup fried chicken pieces, 1/4 cup bread and butter pickles, 2 tablespoons pimiento cheese
- Instructions: Heat the tortilla and chicken separately. Spread the pimento cheese on the tortilla and add the warmed chicken and bread and butter pickles. Fold and heat through.
- Tip: Add cooked kale, spinach, or collard greens for a healthy dose of veggies.
13. Dessert ‘Dilla
Why skip dessert when you can have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? With banana, caramel, and Brie, this quesadilla is full of potassium and even some calcium—which means it almost qualifies as healthy.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1 chopped banana, 1/4 cup Brie, 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
- Instructions: Heat the tortilla and Brie, letting the cheese begin to melt. Add the banana and caramel, fold, and heat through.
- Tip: Sweeten with a drizzle of honey instead of caramel sauce.
14. We’re Thankful for Quesadilla(s)
Thankful for all those Thanksgiving leftovers? Show them some love by putting them in a dang quesadilla! Filled with turkey, stuffing, cranberry relish, and Brie, this holiday-inspired meal shows the classic Thanksgiving sandwich that it’s got some serious competition.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1/4 cup turkey, 1/4 cup stuffing, 1/4 cup Brie, 2 tablespoons cranberry relish
- Instructions: Heat the turkey and stuffing in a microwave or on a low heat skillet. Then heat the tortilla and spread with the cranberry relish. Add the Brie to the turkey and stuffing and transfer to the tortilla. Fold, heat some more, say your thanks, and eat up.
- Tip: Make your own cranberry sauce to cut back on sugar.
15. Billy Goat ‘Dilla
You can’t talk about cheese and not give goat a chance! For this tortilla treat, use goat cheese, strawberries, spinach, and caramelized onions. It’s like an amazing summer salad wrapped in a delicious carb blanket.
- Ingredients: 1 spinach tortilla, 2 cups spinach leaves, 1/2 cup goat cheese, 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/4 cup caramelized onions
- Instructions: Sauté the spinach and set aside with the onions. Warm the tortilla, add the goat cheese and strawberries, and then the onions and spinach. Fold tortilla and press before serving.
- Tip: Add chopped walnuts (or any nut) for a nice crunch and some extra protein.
It’s not delivery, it’s a quesadizza! Loaded with pepperoni, mozzarella, and marinara sauce, this recipe tastes just like your favorite pizza, but without the dough—the crust and the funds spent on delivery. Love a good dip? We suggest ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt.
- Ingredients: 1 flour tortilla, 3-6 large pepperoni slices, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 2 tablespoons marinara or pizza sauce, any delicious toppings (e.g. green peppers, olives, onions, anchovies, pineapple)
- Instructions: Heat the tortilla and spread the marinara and mozzarella, allowing the cheese to start to melt. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat through. Eat like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (with Turtle Power, obviously).
- Tip: You don’t have to tip when there’s no delivery person! We’re also fans of using chicken sausage in place of the pepperoni.
17. Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla
Want the taste of wings without the mess? We’ve got just the solution for you: Pulled chicken, buffalo sauce, and blue cheese pressed between a tortilla—and you can save those Wet-Naps for your next meal. For this ‘dilla, you can poach chicken breasts or grab a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1/2 cup pulled chicken, 1/4 cup blue cheese, 3 tablespoons buffalo sauce
- Instructions: Warm up the pulled chicken and add the blue cheese, mixing together. Warm the tortilla, add the chicken and cheese mixture, and load with buffalo sauce. Dip in extra sauce for added deliciousness.
- Tip: If you like crunch, add some celery after you’re done heating up the ingredients.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1/2 cup Béchamel sauce, 1/2 cup artichokes, 1/4 cup Maryland lump crab meat (warning: price might make you crabby)
- Instructions: Heat up the tortilla, add the Béchamel sauce, artichokes, and crab meat. Heat on each side until Béchamel sauce melts and ingredients are warmed.
- Tip: Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning on the crabmeat for an extra New England kick.
Meet the official Spanglish quesadilla. With lean ground beef, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and whatever other fixings you fancy, this meal is the epitome of modern American culture. And our taste buds are into it.
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 3/4 cup cooked ground beef, 1 slice American cheese, 1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup chopped tomato, 4-6 dill pickle slices
- Instructions: Heat up the ground beef and add the cheese. Warm the tortilla and add the lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes. Add the meat and cheese mixture, fold, bite, WIN.
- Tip:Ketchup, mustard, mayo? They all work in this scenario. Even BBQ sauce.
Fusion food is all the rage in the global restaurant scene and with this ‘dilla. The Italian flavors of buffalo mozzarella, basil, and tomato meet Mexican tortilla-pressing traditions to create something truly magical. And flavorful. Just don’t forget the balsamic drizzle!
- Ingredients: 1 spinach tortilla, 1/2 cup buffalo mozzarella, 1 medium sliced tomato, 3-6 basil leaves, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
- Instructions: Heat up the tortilla in a skillet. Add the mozzarella, tomato, and basil, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Fold the tortilla and cook on each side, letting the mozzarella melt.
- Tip: Serve with a side of hot olives. You won’t regret it.
21. Going Greek
We don’t mean to lump a whole nation’s food culture into one quesadilla, but we’re doing it anyway. (After all, it’s all in the name of deliciousness.) Grab some lamb, feta, tzatziki, roasted red peppers, and eat up. You’ll feel like you’re on top of Mount Olympus.
- Ingredients: 1 sundried-tomato tortilla, 1/2 cup lamb kabobs (or chicken), 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, 2 tablespoons tzatziki
- Instructions: Heat up the lamb and roasted red peppers in a skillet or microwave, and add feta. Heat the tortilla separately and spread with tzatziki. Add the lamb, peppers, and feta mix to the tortilla, fold, and heat on each side for a minute.
- Tip: Remove the meat, double the amount of peppers, and add sautéed mushrooms for a vegetarian option. Hummus is also a good tzatziki substitute!
Mexico meets their conquering Spanish ancestors in this delicious dinner. With chorizo, rice, black beans, and Monterey Jack cheese, it’s sure to have everyone saying, “Que delicioso!”
- Ingredients: 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 1/4 cup chorizo, 1/4 cup cooked brown rice, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- Instructions: Heat the rice, chorizo, and black beans together and add the cheese. Warm up the tortilla, add the chorizo filling, fold, and continue to heat for a couple minutes on each side. Serve!
- Tip: Sip on some sangria because: YOLO. This recipe also tastes great without the rice, if you’re aiming for a lower carb meal.
We hope this list taught you numerous ways to up your quesadilla game. And if nothing else, to always have cheese and tortillas on hand in your kitchen. Because when all else fails, “MAKE YOURSELF A DANG QUESADILLA!”